LeTourneau University adding track and field; announces new volleyball coach
Jan. 23, 2017 at 12:57 p.m.
Updated Jan. 23, 2017 at 12:57 p.m.
LeTourneau University welcomed two new coaches and announced the addition of a new athletic program to the YellowJacket family on Monday.
Athletic Director Terri Deike announced the hiring of Ashley Tiernan as the school’s new volleyball coach, and shortly after her announcement university president Dale Lunsford told a standing-room only crowd at the Solheim Recreation Center’s Steudler Lounge the school would be adding track and field for men and women to the roster of sports available at LETU.
“We appreciate LETU President, Dr. Dale Lunsford, and the Board of Trustees for the unique opportunity to add men’s and women’s track and field,” Deike said. “The last sports added to the LETU athletic department were men’s and women’s cross country in 2009.”
Deike said track and field student-athletes would arrive on campus next fall to begin training for the competitive season beginning in January 2018. She said the university would use local high school facilities for training purposes as they begin the process of raising funds for an on-campus facility of their own.
LeTourneau Sports Information Director James Wallace said the school hopes to bring in 30 student-athletes in the fall, with an expected total of 60 in the years to come.
LeTourneau will be the 10th member of the American Southwest Conference to sponsor track and field, and just the sixth member to offer indoor.
Don Hood will coach the new program. He joins LeTourneau after serving as the girl’s athletic coordinator and head boys and girls track and cross country coach at Brownwood High School since 2009. Hood’s track and cross country teams have won nine district championships, and the girls cross country team has qualified for the state meet three of the past five seasons.
Prior to Brownwood, Hood spent four seasons as head track and field coach at Abilene Christian University, leading the men’s program to three straight NCAA Division II outdoor team championships (2006-2008) and directed the women’s program to the 2008 outdoor team title. The Wildcat men’s team won the Lone Star Conference team championship in each of his four seasons, while the women won the LSC title from 2006-2008.
“We are blessed to have Don Hood, a well-known Texas track and field coach, agree to head the new program,” Deike said. “Don brings a wealth of knowledge after coaching at the high school level as well as four NCAA institutions.”
Tiernan was named the 17th head volleyball coach in program history. She spent the past four seasons as head coach at Porter High School, where she helped turn a new program into a successful one by leading them to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. She compiled a 91-52 record at the school.
“She has the ability and enthusiasm to bring the LETu volleyballl program to new heights,” Deike said of Tiernan. “We are very pleased with Ashley’s decision to join the department and move our volleyball student-athletes and program forward.”
(Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports).